On Arsenio: Remarkable Story of Child Who Saved Himself from Abductor by Singing Gospel Song

It’s rare when there’s an open and positive discussion about Christian faith on a late night talk show but it actually happened on Arsenio Hall’s show. On Thursday night Hall invited on 10-year-old Willie Myrick to recount how he saved himself from an abductor by repeatedly singing a gospel song. Myrick was abducted from his Atlanta home on March 31 but kept singing Hezekiah Walker’s “Every Praise” for three straight hours until his kidnapper released him.

Myrick offered his rendition of the song on the Arsenio Hall stage with Walker by his side. Later on in the show Walker performed the song in full. [Watch the inspiring moment after the jump]

[Myrick portion of the video begins at the 1:08 mark]

The following segment was aired on the May 1 edition of the Arsenio Hall Show:

ARSENIO HALL: I’ll tell you I know this inspired you because it inspired me. I mentioned, at the top of the show, the story of Willie and I was surprised how many people in the audience know this story. But I’ll let you take it from there.

HEZEKIAH WALKER: Man, you know, it was a great story. When I heard it I was so shocked. There was a young boy by the name of Willie Myrick. Nine-years-old and he was actually in his yard, playing with his dog and someone came and took him out of the yard. Abducted him and took him and rode him around for three hours trying to figure out what they were going to do to him.

HALL: Right, right.

WALKER: And little Willie, he just started singing “Every Praise.”

HALL: Whoa! Whoa!

WALKER: And I mean it was amazing. He sang “Every Praise” for the three hours that he was in the car.

HALL: Wait! So the man had him-

WALKER: For three hours, three hours.

HALL: -held hostage for three hours and he sang “Every Praise” for three hours.

WALKER: He sang “Every Praise.” And of all the songs that a nine-year-old boy could have sung he chose to sing “Every Praise.” The power of gospel music.

HALL: Yeah. You know what’s also interesting. I’ll tell you something else that’s ironic about that. That kid is about the exact same age you were, when you discovered gospel music.

WALKER: Isn’t that amazing?

HALL: Macon, Georgia.

WALKER: Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that amazing?

HALL: Have you? You’ve met him right?

WALKER: I’ve met him, yes. His birthday was last week. His 10th birthday was last week and I flew down to surprise him for his 10th birthday.

HALL: That’s cool. I know - speaking of, speaking of making a joyful noise I know you all sang together right?

WALKER: We sang together. We had a great time and he wants to be a singer. He wants to be a gospel singer so it’s really great that I was able to inspire him to really want to grow and be a gospel singer.

HALL: From the pages of the news ladies and gentlemen Willie is here. This is Willie Myrick! C’mon Willie! Yes! How are you sir. You sit here with us! That’s Willie, ladies and gentlemen! Boy, you know he just brought up a very good point. There are a lot of songs you could’ve sang. You could’ve jumped into a Ciara tune or you could’ve sung the “Star-Spangled Banner.” But you chose “Every Praise.” Why?

WILLIE MYRICK: Well because I knew that Jesus was gonna be with me and he was gonna take me through the steps of getting out!

HALL: And was that a song you had sung before? Where did you first hear that song?

MYRICK: Well at church.

HALL: Oh yeah, yeah. You know what? I just want to cut to something that’s in my head. Will you all sing it for us? That’s, that’s really what I would like more than anything.

WALKER: What’s your favorite part of the song Willie?

MYRICK: Well really my favorite part is the whole song but... most part I like is the ending with God is my savior.

WALKER: Okay you want to do it?


HALL: And by the way we’ll be right back with a trumped up performance with Hezekiah Walker. I got something for you after the commercial.

WALKER: You sing “God is my savior.” You ready? Here we go. One, two, three and “God is my savior.”

MYRICK singing: God is my savior. God is my healer. God is my deliverer. Yes he is! Yes he is! God is my savior, God is my healer, God is my deliverer. Yes he is! Yes he is!

[Standing Ovation]


Hezekiah Walker Willie Myrick Arsenio Hall

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